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Terrorism and the UN

Before and After September 11

Jane Boulden and Thomas G. Weiss, eds.

Publication Year: 2004

How has the United Nations dealt with the question of terrorism before and after September 11? What does it mean that the UN itself has become a target of terrorism? Terrorism and the UN analyzes how the UN's role in dealing with terrorism has been shaped over the years by the international system, and how events such as September 11 and the American intervention in Iraq have reoriented its approach to terrorism. The first half of the book addresses the international context. Chapters in this part consider the impact of September 11 on the UN's concern for the rights and security of states relative to those of individuals, as well as the changing attitudes of various Western powers toward multilateral vs. unilateral approaches to international problems.

The second half of the book focuses more closely on the UN, its values, mechanisms, and history and its future role in preventing and reacting to terrorism. The Security Council's position on and reactions to terrorist activities are contrasted with the General Assembly's approach to these issues. What role the UN might play in suppressing the political economy of terrorism is considered. A concluding chapter looks at broader, more proactive strategies for addressing the root causes of terrorism, with an emphasis on social justice as a key to conflict prevention, a primary concern of the UN, particularly the General Assembly, before September 11.

Contributors are Jane Boulden, Chantal de Jonge Oudraat (Georgetown University), Edward C. Luck (Columbia University), S. Neil MacFarlane (University of Oxford), Rama Mani (Geneva Centre for Security Policy), M. J. Peterson (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Nico Schrijver (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam), Mónica Serrano (Colegio de México and University of Oxford), Thierry Tardy (Geneva Centre for Security Policy), Karin von Hippel (King's College, London), and Thomas G. Weiss.

Published by: Indiana University Press


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pp. vii-viii

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August 19, 2003

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pp. ix-x

Having been prompted by the terrorist attacks of September 11. 2001, and then completed in the midst of the Security Council debate on Iraq, this book goes to press only a few days after the tragic bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad on August 19, 2003. ...

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p. xi

The chapters of this volume are the product of a workshop held in late September 2002, jointly sponsored by the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at The City University of New York and the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford. We decided that New York City was a most appropriate place to convene such a discussion. ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xvi

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1 Whither Terrorism and the United Nations?

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pp. 3-26

This volume explores the situation of the United Nations in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, and international responses to them. On that basis, it looks ahead to possible problems and issues for the world organization in its continuing attempts to counter terrorism. ...

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2 Charter Values and the Response to Terrorism

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pp. 27-52

This chapter is a preliminary attempt to evaluate the implications of the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001 for the promotion of the values articulated in the UN Charter, which are held to be universal in international society.2 The premise of the chapter is the proposition that one of the most important roles of the world organization is to promote certain...

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3 September 11 and Challenges to International Law

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pp. 55-73

The horrifying events of September 11, 2001, challenged some basic notions of international law. Washington1 and its partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Organization of American States (OAS) immediately identified the terrorist attacks on the United States as “acts of war,”2 thereby bringing into play the law of war with its two branches of jus ad bellum ...

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4 The U.S., Counterterrorism, and the Prospects for a Multilateral Alternative

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pp. 74-101

It is common wisdom, at least in Western Europe, that Washington’s response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, has confirmed its penchant for unilateralism and its disdain for multilateral processes and institutions. Three-quarters of the respondents to an April 2002 Pew Research Center survey of the four major European countries agreed that in the fight...

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5 Improving the International Response to the Transnational Terrorist Threat

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pp. 102-119

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on September 11, many commentators proclaimed a new and unprecedented era in international cooperation. Not only had consensus been reached that terrorist networks had to be eliminated, but the United States welcomed support from all corners of the globe. ...

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6 The Inherent Difficulties of Interinstitutional Cooperation inFighting Terrorism

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pp. 120-148

In the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, the debates about how to respond to the attacks on the United States broadly acknowledged that the fight against terrorism had to be global and that it had to encompass as many political entities as possible. Every structure involved in activities related to the fight against terrorism—at the state, substate, or interstate levels—had to be mobilized. ...

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7 The Role of the Security Council

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pp. 151-172

International terrorism has been a concern of UN member states since the late 1960s. It was placed on the Security Council’s agenda in the early 1990s. On January 31, 1992, at the council’s first-ever meeting of heads of state and government, the members of the council “expressed their deep concern over acts of international terrorism and emphasized the need for the international...

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8 Using the General Assembly

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pp. 173-197

The General Assembly has addressed international terrorism in two ways: by developing a normative framework that defines terrorism as a common problem and by encouraging concerted government action to develop more particular international and national legal rules for dealing with terrorists. ...

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9 The Political Economy of Terrorism

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pp. 198-218

What has the United Nations done for the war against terrorism? There are twelve existing UN conventions on terrorism which, most would agree, have been better at identifying particular forms of terrorist action to be outlawed than at producing a definition of terrorism per se.1 Indeed, while progress has been made on a number of practical fronts...

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10 The Root Causes of Terrorism and Conflict Prevention

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pp. 219-241

Established in the bloody aftermath of the Second World War, the United Nations naturally included conflict prevention as a primary goal. The desire to prevent future generations from the scourge of war and to deliver to all peoples freedom from fear and want motivated the drafters of the Charter. ...

About the Contributors

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pp. 243-245


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pp. 247-256

E-ISBN-13: 9780253110985
E-ISBN-10: 025311098X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253343840

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 1 figure
Publication Year: 2004

OCLC Number: 62585766
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Terrorism and the UN

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Subject Headings

  • Terrorism -- Prevention -- International cooperation.
  • World politics -- 1995-2005.
  • United Nations.
  • War on Terrorism, 2001-2009.
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